Today on Black Friday, instead of running around the shops or nabbing the best deals online, I relaxed and took a break with my family touring Muir Woods, Napa Valley & Sonoma with Extranomical Tours. What a fabulous Friday! The tour allows time to be spent exploring the giant redwoods in Muir Woods before being whisked off to three different wineries. The tour guide provided lots of commentary and history as we motored from San Francisco to Muir Woods and on to all of the wineries. I truly relaxed and had a grape time.
The day started off by being picked up right by my apartment at a local hotel. The tour company offers pick up from hotels around San Francisco city which ensures minimum organization on each tour goers part. My pickup was at 8am so it’s a bright and early start. First stop is Muir Woods, where tour goers are allowed 1 hour to explore the Redwoods and nature. A $10 fee is necessary to enter the park which is not included in the tour price. There is a gift shop and restrooms/toilets right at the entrance to the park.
After exploring Muir Woods, next up is some wonderful wine tasting to three wineries allowing visits to both Napa and Sonoma which I loved. All tasting fees are included in the price of the trip which is excellent and rare! Some of the tasting fees are expensive at wineries so this is a major plus with Extranomical Tours!
Our first stop was at Mayo winery in Sonoma which is a very small family owned winery which I hadn’t been to before. Here we had a detailed tour of the wine making process which included fun facts from the machines to the barrels. Did you know that it costs about $1,200 including shipping to ship an oak barrel from France to California? French barrels are used as the oak tastes much better. Some wineries use Barrels for years whereas others use the barrel just once! Make sure you try the port here, it was absolutely delicious!
Next up was lunch at Sonoma Wine Country Plaza at 1pm. Lunch can be added to your tour ticket when booking or you are free to choose one of the many great choices around the plaza. The Cheese Factory offers quick deli (but great) options and wine to sit in the green area enjoying the sunshine. There are lots of shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants around the plaza to explore during the hour lunch break.
After lunch, a short drive brings you to Napa Valley where we stopped at Kieu Hoang Winery which I have visited before. This is a more modern feel winery with a wrap around cosy porch and the most spectacular views. Couches run along the porch and it is the perfect location to relax. Allow time to explore the vines while sipping some top wines. A tasting of 3 wines was included here. I also tried the Rose complimentary which is one of my favorites!
Our final stop was another Napa Valley vineyard, Cline. The friendliest staff, 5 tastings and gardens to explore. Cline also has a great gift shop filled with trinkets, wine related gifts and tasty snacks. Cline wines were very affordable and the staff gave detailed descriptions and stories behind each wine which made the tasting very interesting.
After we were full of wine, we headed back to San Francisco stopping by Golden Gate bridge for a quick photo on the way back. A perfect family day out with great wineries visited and explored alongside a helping of nature at Muir Woods. We arrived back in San Francisco around 5.30pm as we were the first stop by the Marina.
Extranomical tours run daily tours to Napa & Sonoma with slight differences in tours depending on your preference. I loved how this tour added a nature twist to the normal Napa Tours but still allowed time to visit 3 wineries and stop off at Sonoma Plaza. Tour buses are great as they plan your trip out and ensure a stress free visit to wine country. Wineries visited with this tour change depending on the day so you may not visit the wineries listed above. All wineries are picked carefully to best suit tour goers.
Tours are also run to Lake Tahoe, Monterey, Yosemite, Alcatraz and also around San Francisco. I highly recommend booking one or more of these tours for exploring San Francisco and the surrounding getaways. A friendly, well organized tour that offers great value. Visit Extranomical Tours here for great packages and an online discount. Happy Wine tasting!
Thank you to Extranomical Tours for a wonderful day out and for sponsoring this blogpost.
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